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Sofradir Announces Megapixel IR Detector for Space
Detector selected for the SENTINEL-5 Earth observation mission
9/23/2014 – Paris, France

Sofradir, the French developer of advanced IR detectors, has launched the Next Generation Panchromatic detector (NGP), a 1024x1024 visible to short wavelength infrared (SWIR) Focal Plane Assembly.

According to the company, NGP is the first European-made space-oriented megapixel array that space agencies can consider for deep space science (planets and asteroids studies), Earth observation and Earth monitoring (meteorology, global warming studies, agriculture surveillance,...) applications.

Sofradir developed the large format NGP, which is based on mercury cadmium telluride (HgCdTe) technology, as part of an R&D contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). NGP's 1k x 1k format is four times larger than existing Sofradir SATURN starring array IR product currently deployed on observation satellites or spacecraft.

The NGP detector has already been selected this year for the SENTINEL-5 mission planned for launch by 2021 on-board METOP-SG satellite in order to monitor the Earth atmosphere from a polar orbit.

"Sofradir is extremely proud to make the large format NGP 1024x1024 visible to SWIR detector available to our customers focusing on space applications," said Philippe Chorier, space department manager at Sofradir.

"NGP 1k2 attests to Sofradir's increasing technological leadership in producing reliable and high performance IR products for space applications. The product's ready-to-deploy feature responds to demands to shorten space mission delivery times or to minimize the risks in delays. Based on its added performance and time saving benefits, we anticipate a lot of interest in NGP 1k2 in future space missions".

Sofradir in space

Infrared detectors from Sofradir are currently on-board Helios II (Earth observation) and Spirale (early warning system) military satellites, as well as the Venus Express scientific probe (SPICAV / SOIR instrument - Spectrometry for Investigation of Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Venus / Solar Occultation IR-).

Its IR products were also to be deployed in space instruments on Sentinel 2, part of the European GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) space initiative, on the TROPOMI/Sentinel 5 Precursor (part of the GMES), the hyperspectral Earth observation systems PRISMA (Italy) and HYSUI (Japan), as well as on scientific instruments such as Phobos Grunt and Nomad (ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter).

Other programs in progress include: MUSIS/CSO (successor of HELIOS II), MTG (Meteosat Third Generation, ESA), and SGLI (Second generation GLobal Imager) instrument onboard GCOM-C (Global Change Observing Mission -Climate), HAYABUSA2 (asteroid study) or CHANDRAYAAN-2 (lunar surface mapping).

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Sofradir EC Introduces Infrared Imaging Camera Engines
High Performance Imaging in SWaP Configurations
10/21/2013 – Fairfield, NJ USA
MiTIE Engines
HD MWIR
VGA MWIR
VGA LWIR
As a result of advances in cooled infrared detector technology, engines are now available that deliver remarkable performance in a very small package.

Sofradir EC will demonstrate its new line of high performance Infrared Imaging Engines at the 2013 AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington DC on October 21-23, 2013. The Miniature Thermal Imaging Engines, labeled “MiTIE”, utilize a Sofradir cryogenically cooled MCT infrared detector. Three models will be introduced, the MiTIE MWIR-HD, a high definition 1280x1024 mid-wave imager and two VGA-format 640x512 engines, one for the long-wave spectral band (MiTIE LWIR) and the other for the mid-wave band (MiTIE MWIR).

Because of their compact size and versatile interface electronics, the MiTIE engines are ideal for easy integration into a wide range of electro-optical systems, including portable, mobile and fixed imagers, particularly those having size/weight/power restrictions. The MiTIE camera engines each include an integrated detector/dewar cooler assembly based on a 15 micron pitch, high performance Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT) IR focal plane array. The engines produce both analog NTSC/PAL video as well as 14-bit digital data (Camera Link and HDMI). The camera control interface is either USB or Camera Link.

The MiTIE LWIR engine permits electro-optics OEMs to deliver the benefits of long-wave infrared imaging to their customers, including: excellent thermal sensitivity and contrast in both cold and warm environments, outstanding penetration through obscurants (such as smoke and dust) as well as reduced impact due to solar reflections (glint).

The two MiTIE MWIR engines bring unique capabilities as well. Despite its small, compact size, the MiTIE MWIR-HD engine delivers high definition infrared imaging with remarkable resolution and sensitivity. In addition, the MiTIE MWIR engines deliver the benefits of mid-wave infrared imaging, including: a smaller optical aperture to reduce SWaP and higher contrast in high humidity marine environments.

For more information, visit www.ircores.com.

Company Background: Headquartered in Fairfield, New Jersey, Sofradir EC, Inc. develops and manufactures advanced thermal imaging engines based on both cooled and uncooled infrared detectors. In addition, the company manufactures high performance infrared cameras for scientific applications as well as low-light image intensifier-based night vision systems for use with portable digital SLR and video cameras.

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Sofradir Announces Megapixel IR Detector for Space
Sofradir EC Introduces Infrared Imaging Camera Engines
Sofradir EC Launches New Infrared Camera Core
Sofradir EC to Demonstrate New Thermal Sensor Array at Sensors Expo
Sofradir EC to Provide Infrared Imager for US Air Force KC-46 Tanker
Sofradir EC to Provide Infrared Imager for Ground Combat Vehicle Development Program
Sofradir Acquires InSb, QWIP and InGaAs Technologies
Sofradir EC Introduces New High Definition Uncooled IR Camera Engines
Highest Resolution Dual FOV Uncooled IR Camera
Uncooled Thermal Imaging Camera Delivers Breakthrough Performance
ATOM IR – World's Smallest Thermal Imaging Module for OEM Military Products
Infrared Imaging Engine for High Performance OEM Applications
ULIS Quadruples Production Capacity of Infrared Detectors
Sofradir EC Introduces the Epsilon™ IR Detector
Sofradir Completes Acquisition of Electrophysics®
Electrophysics to Be Acquired by Sofradir
Sofradir EC Launches New Infrared Camera Core
Atom80 Based on an Uncooled Thermal Imaging Sensor Array
10/10/2013 – Fairfield, NJ USA
Atom 80
The New ATOM80 Uncooled Microbolometer Core (80x80)

Sofradir EC has introduced its new ATOM80™ Thermal Infrared Imaging Camera Core. The first in a line of next generation low cost thermal sensor camera cores, the ATOM80 consists of a microbolometer array having 80x80 pixels with high infrared sensitivity. The camera core enables a wide variety of new applications including low-cost thermal imaging, building energy efficiency management, advanced presence detection (including access control and people counting), thermography and automotive safety sensing.

The ATOM80 is being manufactured by Sofradir EC (Fairfield, NJ) and is based on a ULIS Micro80P microbolometer. The new thermal sensor camera core bridges the applications gap for which single, quad or multi-element thermal detectors do not have sufficient sensitivity or resolution and where large format imaging arrays far outperform the application needs and costs. The ATOM80 has been designed to provide more reliable information resulting in accurate spatial and thermal information from the observed scene. This increase in information results in significant improvements in the ability to detect, analyze and classify thermal scenes.

For example, in people monitoring applications such as intrusion detection for security systems, people counting for stores and occupancy detection for HVAC temperature control, the ATOM80 permits systems to be designed to scan a large area with one sensor in order to produce data that is both comprehensive and sensitive enough to be meaningful. For thermal imaging applications, the ATOM80 core delivers unrivaled imaging performance for these low resolution imaging arrays, ideal for low-end thermal imaging devices.

In comparison to other technologies, the ATOM80 delivers extraordinary thermal sensitivity of less than 0.1°C at standard video rates. Other multi-element infrared sensing technologies require more than twice the illumination energy, need to operate at reduced frame rates and do not deliver the same spatial resolution.

Company Background: Headquartered in Fairfield, New Jersey, Sofradir EC, Inc. (formerly Electrophysics Corp.) is a member of the Sofradir Group of companies since December 2008. Sofradir EC, Inc. develops and manufactures advanced thermal imaging cores and engines based on both cooled and uncooled infrared detectors. In addition, the company manufactures high performance infrared cameras for scientific applications as well as AstroScope Night Vision Modules for nighttime photography and videography.

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Sofradir EC to Demonstrate New Thermal Sensor Array at Sensors Expo
6/04/2013 – Fairfield, NJ USA
Micro 80P
New Micro80P thermal sensor array (80x80)

For the first time in the US, Sofradir EC will showcase its new Micro80P™ thermal sensor array at the 2013 Sensors Expo in Rosemont IL on June 5-6, 2013. The Micro80P is the first in a line of next generation thermal sensors and consists of a microbolometer array having 80x80 pixels with high infrared sensitivity. The Micro80P enables a wide variety of new applications including building energy efficiency management, advanced presence detection (including access control and people counting), thermography and automotive safety sensing.

The new thermal sensor array is being manufactured by ULIS, a Sofradir Group company. The Micro80P bridges the applications gap for which single or quad element thermal detectors do not have sufficient sensitivity and resolution and where large format imaging arrays far outperform the application needs and costs. In contrast to single-element sensors which are limited both in the number of pixels and data they provide, the Micro80P array has been designed to provide more reliable information providing access to accurate spatial and thermal information from the observed scene. As a result, this increase in information results in significant improvements in the ability to detect, analyze and classify human activity and room temperature in buildings.

For energy management, for example, the Micro80P permits control systems to be designed to achieve high energy efficiency in everyday use, such as building automation for heating, ventilation and air conditioning or automatic lighting by delivering not only dynamic temperature information but also occupancy data.

In comparison to other technologies, the Micro80P microbolometer array delivers an extraordinary thermal sensitivity of 0.1°C at 50 Hz (under a blackbody illumination set at 20°C, equivalent to most room ambient temperature). Existing technologies require more than twice the illumination energy, need to operate at a reduced frame rate and do not deliver the same spatial resolution.

Company Background: Headquartered in Fairfield, New Jersey, Sofradir EC, Inc. (formerly Electrophysics Corp.) is a member of the Sofradir Group of companies since December 2008. Sofradir EC, Inc. develops and manufactures advanced thermal imaging cores and engines based on both cooled and uncooled infrared detectors. In addition, the company manufactures high performance infrared cameras for scientific applications as well as AstroScope Night Vision Modules for nighttime photography and videography.
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Sofradir EC to Provide Infrared Imager for US Air Force KC-46 Tanker
4/29/2013 – Fairfield, NJ USA
Sofradir EC's facility

Sofradir EC, Inc. announced that it has been selected by Rockwell Collins to provide high resolution infrared cameras to support their contract with Boeing for the U.S. Air Force's KC-46 Tanker Program. Rockwell Collins is a major supplier to Boeing on the KC-46 and will provide a wide range of technologies.

The award is associated with the Rockwell Collins Remote Vision System (RVS) that permits aerial refueling at any time, under any lighting conditions. The RVS is a combination of 2D and 3D technologies, providing visual information to support refueling operations. The Sofradir EC infrared cameras will be used for advanced situational awareness and in the vision system required for the aerial refueling.

"Our team is excited to be selected to support Rockwell Collins for their participation in the KC-46 program," said Frank Vallese, President at Sofradir EC, Inc. "Our U.S. team has designed some very unique and high performing products. We're delighted that our extensive experience in infrared imaging engine development will be useful to Rockwell Collins in their contribution to the new tanker program."

"Our participation in the tanker program was an excellent application for our high resolution COTS infrared imaging cores. Our cores are ideal for a multitude of thermal imaging systems including handheld, ground vehicle, and airborne EOIR platforms," said Chris Alicandro, Vice President of Sales at Sofradir EC.

Sofradir EC, Inc. (formerly known as Electrophysics Corp.) is headquartered in Fairfield, New Jersey where they design and manufacture advanced thermal imaging products, including cooled and uncooled infrared imaging cores and engines as well as low-light image intensifier-based night vision systems for use with portable digital SLR and camcorder platforms.

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Sofradir EC to Provide Infrared Imager for Ground Combat Vehicle Development Program
3/01/2012 – Fairfield, NJ USA
Sofradir EC's facility

Sofradir EC, Inc. announced that it has been selected by BAE Systems as a supplier to support BAE Systems Survivability & Targeting Solutions business with its Technology Development Phase contract for the US Army's Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program.

"Our team is excited that we were selected to support BAE Systems," said Chris Alicandro, Vice President of Sales for Sofradir EC, Inc. "We've designed some high-performing products using the latest in uncooled microbolometer technology. We're delighted that our team's extensive experience in infrared imaging engine development will be useful to BAE Systems in its work on the development contract for the GCV program."

Sofradir EC, Inc. (formerly known as Electrophysics Corp.) is headquartered in Fairfield, New Jersey. We offer a wide range of military and COTS infrared imaging cores ideal for a variety of thermal imaging systems including handheld, ground vehicle, and airborne EOIR platforms.

Distribution Statement A: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

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Sofradir Acquires InSb, QWIP and InGaAs Technologies
12/04/2012 – Paris, France

Sofradir has signed an agreement with Sagem (part of the Safran group) and Thales to acquire their infrared (IR) detector technology development and manufacturing facilities. Those technologies were originally developed for the internal purposes of Sagem and Thales. Under the agreement, Sagem will transfer to Sofradir the Indium Antimonide (InSb) technology. The Quantum Well-Infrared Photodetector (QWIP) and Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs) technologies will be transferred to Sofradir from the GIE III-V Lab, an economic interest group with partners Alcatel Lucent, Thales and research institute CEA (the French nuclear energy and alternate energies commission).

"The technologies from Sagem and the III-V Lab enable Sofradir to have from this point forward the complete portfolio of infrared technologies," said Philippe Bensussan, Chairman and CEO of Sofradir. "We are confident that Sofradir will take these IR activities to the next level and benefit from the synergies between the different IR technologies," added Bensussan. Sofradir is currently ranked number one for volume deliveries of IR detectors based on its Mercury Cadmium Telluride (HgCdTe) technology.

By consolidating these IR technologies under one roof, Sofradir joins a very small group of IR detector manufacturers with expertise in all the cooled and uncooled IR technologies. Philippe Bensussan explains "With the new technologies, Sofradir, along with its subsidiary ULIS, will be able to select the technology best adapted to our clients' applications. We are in a fortified position to offer IR products with more innovation, performance and compactness in order to respond to any IR market need."

IR detectors are advanced technology components at the center of multiple military, space, commercial and scientific applications: thermal imagers, missile seekers, surveillance systems, targeting systems or observation satellites.

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Sofradir EC Introduces New High Definition Uncooled IR Camera Engines
Continuous zoom available in three different FOV ranges
7/03/2012 – Fairfield, NJ

Sofradir EC, Inc. has introduced three new high definition uncooled thermal imaging camera engines with continuous zoom capability. The Atom 1024 camera engines are the ideal choice for a wide range of military and COTS thermal imaging systems including ground vehicle and airborne EOIR reconnaissance platforms. The cameras are based on the first commercially available high definition 1024x768 uncooled infrared camera. The new continuous optical zoom capability enables the observer to maintain a constant view of objects under surveillance as they move from far to near positions, for example. Without continuous zoom, the observer may lose track of the objects while switching fields of view.

Atom 1024 Continuous Zoom Lens Systems
15-100 mm
25-150 mm
25-225 mm

Incorporating advanced silicon microbolometer technology, the ATOM 1024 high definition thermal imaging cameras are specially designed for delivering sharp infrared images with optimal thermal sensitivity. Based on a large 1024x768 microbolometer detector array, the cameras deliver a significant improvement in image resolution and detection range over VGA-based cameras with two and a half times the number of pixels. The increased performance is obtained without compromises in camera size, weight, power or sensitivity. Other performance specifications are outstanding, including thermal sensitivity (<50mk), 30/60Hz XGA/VGA frame rate and low power consumption.

The three new cameras differ in the field of view range achieved. The ATOM 1024-40/4.4G delivers high definition infrared imaging with a horizontal field-of-view range 4.4°-40° (25-225mm). Similarly, the ATOM 1024-40/6.6G has a horizontal field-of-view range 6.6°-40° (25-150mm), and the ATOM 1024-68/10G has 9.9°-68.4° (15-100mm). Each camera is calibrated to deliver uniform images at any field of view. In addition, due to the high uniformity, operability and stability of these amorphous silicon microbolometers, the cameras deliver remarkably sharp sequences throughout the field of view and ambient temperature range (-20 to 60°C). The ATOM 1024 is also available with a variety of fixed infrared objective lenses designed to deliver optimum performance for 17µm pitch sensors.

For more information, visit www.ircores.com.

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Highest Resolution Dual FOV Uncooled IR Camera
10/10/2011 – Fairfield, NJ (PRWEB)
Atom 1024 DFOV
ATOM 1024 designed for Ground Vehicle Applications with Dual Field-of-View 100-300mm Optic

Sofradir EC, Inc. will be demonstrating their new ATOM 1024-DF100/300 High Resolution Uncooled Thermal Imaging Camera at AUSA in Washington DC on October 10-12, 2011. The ATOM 1024 (www.ircores.com) is the first commercially available uncooled XGA camera. The DF100/300 model incorporates a Dual Field of View (DFOV) 100mm-300mm Infrared Objective Lens designed and manufactured by General Dynamics - Axsys Technologies for a number of different uncooled infrared imaging programs including the U.S. Army's Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station (CROWS).

Incorporating advanced silicon microbolometer technology, the ATOM 1024 is a true high definition (XGA format) thermal imaging camera specially designed for delivering high resolution images and optimal thermal sensitivity. Based on a large 1024 x 768 microbolometer detector array, the camera delivers a significant improvement in image resolution and detection range. The microbolometer detector array has a 17 micron pixel pitch, quite similar to the existing 25 micron pitch VGA systems despite the use of two and a half times increase in the number of pixels. The increased performance is obtained without compromises in camera size, weight, power or sensitivity. Other performance specifications are outstanding, including excellent thermal sensitivity (<50mk), 30 Hz XGA frame rate (60 Hz for VGA output format), and low power consumption (<1.7W).

The ATOM 1024 is available with a variety of infrared objective lenses designed to deliver optimum performance for 17µm pitch sensors. The small Atom 1024 camera is the ideal choice for a wide range of military and COTS thermal imaging systems including handheld, ground vehicle, and airborne EOIR platforms.

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Uncooled Thermal Imaging Camera Delivers Breakthrough Performance
XGA format produces high definition 1024x768 images at 30Hz
10/22/2010 – Fairfield, NJ
Atom 1024

Sofradir EC, Inc. will premiere at AUSA, October 25 – 27, 2010 in Washington, DC, the ATOM 1024, the first commercially available uncooled XGA camera available today. Incorporating ULIS's advanced silicon microbolometer technology, the ATOM 1024 is a true high definition (XGA format) thermal imaging camera specially designed for delivering high resolution images and optimal thermal sensitivity for use in a wide variety of applications.

Because it is based on a large 1024 x 768 microbolometer detector array, the camera delivers a significant improvement in image resolution and detection range. Thanks to the use of the new 17 micron pixel pitch technology microbolometer detector arrays, the array size is quite similar to existing 25 micron pitch VGA systems despite the use of two and a half times increase in the number of pixels. This "double benefit" permits the detector's integration in to the compact ATOM 1024, delivering the increased performance without compromises in camera size, weight, power or sensitivity. Other performance specifications are outstanding, including excellent thermal sensitivity (<50mk), 30 Hz XGA frame rate (60 Hz for VGA output format), and low power consumption (<1.7W). 

The small Atom 1024 camera is the ideal choice for a wide range of military and COTS thermal imaging systems including handheld, ground vehicle, and airborne EOIR platforms.

For more information, visit www.ircores.com.

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ATOM IR – World's Smallest Thermal Imaging Module for OEM Military Products
Tiny uncooled infrared core ideal for size-constrained night vision applications
4/02/2010 – Fairfield, NJ
Atom Infrared Imaging Core

Sofradir EC, Inc. has introduced a new pair of infrared imaging cores based on uncooled microbolometer infrared detectors. The ATOM 640 and ATOM 320 IR cores combine state-of-the-art electronics and high performance uncooled IR detectors (640x480 and 320x240, respectively) making the world’s smallest thermal imaging modules. Consuming less than 1W (0.8W for the ATOM 320) and with a total volume of approximately 6 in3 (ATOM 320), the ATOM IR cores are ideal for integration into handheld thermal imaging product and small unmanned platforms.

Despite their small size, the ATOM IR cores deliver exceptional image quality due to the use of ULIS high performance all-silicon microbolometers. Amorphous silicon microbolometer detectors are well known for their high reliability and because of their ease of manufacturing using standard semiconductor processes, result in arrays having high uniformity and consistency. In addition, the detectors exhibit reduced image blur making them ideal for night vision products that are portable or on mobile platforms. The ATOM 640 is unique in that it is based on new 17 micron pitch technology, ideal for small and low power applications, such as small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and thermal pocketscopes.

For more information, visit www.ircores.com.

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Infrared Imaging Engine for High Performance OEM Applications
MCT based Engine Available for SWIR, MWIR and LWIR Applications
4/02/2010 – Fairfield, NJ
Epsilon IR Detector

Sofradir EC, Inc. has introduced a product line of infrared imaging engines based on cryogenically cooled MCT infrared detectors. A variety of models are being offered that span the infrared spectrum, including short-wave SWIR (800 nm - 2.5 μm), mid-wave MWIR (3-5 μm or 1.5 - 5µm), and long-wave LWIR (7.7 - 9.5 μm or 7.7 - 11.5 μm) models. Because of their versatility, these engines are ideal for easy integration into a wide range of electro-optical systems, delivering exceptional sensitivity and resolution performance.

The Sofradir EC infrared camera engine family harnesses the full performance of the Sofradir Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT) focal plane arrays while offering unique flexibility to meet the needs of any application or OEM requirement. The engines are available in mid-format (320x256), large-format (640x512), and megapixel (1280x1024).

The engines have a common connectivity and interface logic. The engine electronics include camera control electronics and a cooler controller board. The camera outputs corrected or uncorrected NTSC/PAL video and 14-bit digital data. Communication is over a serial (RS-232) interface. 14-bit digital data is streamed via LVDS or through optional CameraLink™ and/or Gigabit Ethernet. With optional optical mounts, optics, user interface panels, and housings, the engines can be customized to meet any requirement. In addition Sofradir EC offers a variety of software developer toolkits (SDKs) and command software modules for further flexibility.

For more information, visit www.ircores.com.
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ULIS Quadruples Production Capacity of Infrared Detectors
7/02/2009 – Veurey-Voroize, France

ULIS, a leading manufacturer of thermal imaging detectors announced today that the company has expanded the production capacity of its microbolometer arrays from 50,000 to 200,000 units per year. ULIS is augmenting its production capacity in order to meet the growing demands for IR detectors by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to be used in infrared cameras designed for military, industrial, public safety and security applications. These OEMs are capitalizing on the rapid market acceptance of thermal imaging technology.Epsilon IR Detector

ULIS sees three leading market drivers: the emerging trend to add infrared capability to visible surveillance cameras (about 25 million are currently installed worldwide); large volume military night vision programs (particularly in the US); and new regulations in energy conservation and building compliance.

"This initiative is our first step in a capacity expansion plan that will address the market for large-scale orders, over 100,000 units," says Jean-François Delepau, Managing Director of ULIS. "Customers can be assured of a ready and available supply that hits mass market target price points enabling them to be aggressively more competitive in the market."

According to ULIS, one example of the market growth is by trade professionals that are now using thermal imagers to inspect building equipment. With the help of an IR camera, plumbers can assess the water temperature distribution of pipes embedded in under-floor heating. There are roughly 800,000 plumbing enterprises in North America and Europe. "With a camera price below $3,000, these trade professionals can now benefit from the capabilities thermal imaging can add to their service portfolio," added Delepau.

The production ramp-up initiative is also an outcome of the double-digit compound growth ULIS has been experiencing every year since its founding in 2002, when it was spun-off from CEA-Leti, a leading European micro and nanotechnologies R&D center and Sofradir, a leader in cooled IR detectors. GE Equity replaced CEA-Leti as minority shareholder in 2008.

Included in ULIS' expansion plan are new buildings to accommodate staff growth (+25% last year), a new training center for customers to test-run microbolometer products, and a production ramp-up of its new high-definition 17-micron IR detector, which it introduced to the market earlier this year. The new buildings will enable a future production capacity of up to 500,000 units per year.

About ULIS

ULIS manufactures high-volume infrared detectors for low-cost, low power, lightweight IR cameras. It offers a range of small and large format IR products for industrial, professional, and security applications. ULIS’ IR detectors are key components of IR equipment increasingly used for energy audits in buildings, thermography, security and surveillance, and night vision driving for motor vehicles, as well as firefighting and lightweight military equipment. ULIS is the leader of uncooled infrared detectors based on an amorphous silicon technology called microbolometers, an easy and reliable semiconductor material to manufacture. Customers recognize ULIS’ IR detectors for their low weight, low power consumption and availability in large volumes. Compared with any other thermal imaging supplier, ULIS offers unique advantages in enabling OEMs, worldwide, to custom-design IR systems, allowing them to achieve true differentiation with their IR camera products.

ULIS, a subsidiary of Sofradir and GE Equity, is located in Veurey-Voroize, near Grenoble, France and employs 120 people.

Visit the ULIS website for more information: www.ulis-ir.com
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Sofradir-EC Introduces the Epsilon™ IR Detector
1/5/2009
Epsilon IR DetectorResponding to customer demands for increasingly compact thermal imagers, Sofradir-EC has introduced the Epsilon™, a ¼ VGA format infrared detector featuring 15-micron pixels. Roughly half the size and weight of previous generation systems, Epsilon is aimed at a number of applications, including battery powered handheld systems, night-vision goggles and small UAVs payloads.

Sofradir is the leader in sophisticated Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT) technology for cooled IR systems and has a large portfolio of imaging sensors across the whole IR spectrum. The company pioneered 15-micron pitch fabrication in 2005 and today is in full rate production of small pixel imaging arrays. Epsilon joins the larger Scorpio™ (640x512) and Jupiter™ (1280x1024) array family of 15-micron based products.

High QE cooled focal plane arrays provide better performance over microbolometers, but traditionally have paid a penalty in terms of size, weight and power consumption. Sofradir's advanced small pixel technology combined with a small rotary cooler has reduced the power consumption to only 2W – almost as low as the requirements of microbolometers. Smaller batteries and a lighter, more compact system translate into reduced fatigue for handheld/NVG operators, flexible integration for system builders, and greater payload options for small UAVs. "Epsilon gives systems engineers the ability to leverage MCT array’s high quantum efficiency, which results in much small f3.0 optics and warm operating temperature, which can greatly increase a systems MTBF," states Chris Alicandro, Director of Sales at Sofradir-EC. "We expect Epsilon will find its way into many military electro-optical systems in the near future," concluded Alicandro during a recent industry conference on military night vision.

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Sofradir Completes Acquisition of Electrophysics®
12/16/2008
Sofradir-EC logo
Paris, France, and Fairfield, NJ, USA, December 16th, 2008 — Sofradir, a leading developer and manufacturer of advanced infrared (IR) detectors for military, space and industrial applications, announced today that it has completed the acquisition of the New Jersey (USA) IR equipment company, Electrophysics.

Sofradir, headquartered in France, wholly owns Electrophysics, which has been renamed Sofradir EC (Sofradir Engineered Components).

Frank Vallese, former owner of Electrophysics, will head Sofradir EC as President. Philippe Bensussan, Chairman and CEO of Sofradir and Chairman of ULIS, will also serve as Chairman of Sofradir EC.

"The name Sofradir EC is intended to leverage the strength of our brand and reputation as a quality supplier of IR detectors in the defense, space and commercial industries," said Bensussan. "Sofradir EC will help our company meet the specific needs of North American customers of cooled and uncooled IR detectors." The estimated North American market for infrared detectors is USD 1 billion.

Sofradir EC will continue developing and supplying infrared equipment such as specialized thermography equipment, and night vision modules for low-light photography and videography, focusing on scientific, industrial, public safety, security and defense applications.

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Electrophysics® to Be Acquired by Sofradir
10/06/2008
Groupe Sofradir
Paris, France, and Fairfield, NJ, USA, October 6, 2008 — Sofradir, a leading developer and manufacturer of advanced infrared (IR) detectors for military, space and industrial applications announced today that it will acquire Electrophysics, a US developer of advanced high-performance IR equipment. Sofradir expects to complete the transaction within 30 days.

The acquisition is expected to accelerate the development of Sofradir and its subsidiary ULIS in the North American market. It will provide Sofradir and ULIS with a US platform to better serve the North American IR detector and module market, estimated at USD 1 billion (approx. Eur 700 M), the largest in the world.

"This strategic foothold will boost Sofradir and ULIS’s growth by bringing us closer to customers in the US who will have ready access to our advanced cooled and uncooled IR technologies, known for their performance, reliability and productibility," said Philippe Bensussan, Chairman and CEO of Sofradir and Chairman of ULIS. "Having a US base of operations will allow us to be more cost competitive and responsive to our customers."

Electrophysics' President Frank Vallese, who will continue to head the US operation said: "We are delighted with this opportunity. It will be a big plus to have Sofradir's talent, technology and expertise here on North American soil. Sofradir has an exciting product development roadmap and an established history of delivering high-quality IR detectors. We foresee a wide range of market opportunities in public safety, security and defense, supplying both OEM’s and system integrators."

Sofradir is a leading provider of IR detectors. Together with ULIS, the company shipped 40,000 IR detectors worldwide this year. The purchase of Electrophysics, founded in 1969, will help it ramp up sales and enhance the service it provides to US customers in the defense, space and commercial industries. "By joining the experienced team of 35 at Electrophysics, Sofradir is taking an important step forward to the benefit of the customers of both companies," added Bensussan.

About Sofradir

Sofradir logo

Sofradir develops and manufactures advanced infrared detectors (IR) for military, space and commercial applications. It specializes in cooled IR detectors based on a sophisticated high performance technology, Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT), and its vast product portfolio of scanning and staring arrays covers the entire infrared spectrum. Sofradir also offers QWIP detectors developed in cooperation with Thales. Ulis, a subsidiary of Sofradir, designs and manufactures low-cost, uncooled amorphous silicon infrared detectors for commercial applications. Together the companies generated revenues of USD 165 M (EUR 110 M) in 2007. Sofradir and Ulis directly export more than 70 percent of their products. Customers include the US Army, Thales, Sagem, Selex, Thales Alenia Space, ESA (European Space Agency) and FLIR Systems. Sofradir’s headquarters is located in Chatenay-Malabry, near Paris, France. Its manufacturing facilities and those of ULIS are located in Veurey-Voroize, near Grenoble. Sofradir and Ulis employ 470 people.

About Electrophysics

Electrophysics logo

Founded in 1969, Electrophysics designs and manufactures infrared equipment for a wide range of imaging applications including portable thermal imagers as well as night vision modules for low-light photography and videography. The company sells to industrial, scientific, law enforcement and US Department of Defense customers. In addition, it develops image acquisition and analysis software and a range of application-specific accessories including optics. The company, located in Fairfield, New Jersey, USA, has 35 employees and annual revenues of USD 12 M (EUR 8 M).

 
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Sofradir EC, Inc.
373 US Hwy 46W, Fairfield, NJ 07004 USA  |  Tel: 973.882.0211  |  Fax: 973.882.0997


An ISO 9001 Certified Company.